“For the Celtic peoples, the land was inspirited, able to reflect whatever was done upon it. The concept of land as inert, unable to respond, was foreign to them. There was also a sense that not every inch of the land could be used for human purposes, that some was to be set aside as sacred to the spirits of the land.
The prosperity of the land, the abundance of flocks and herds, the fertility of fields and orchards; all these were dependent upon the sacred ordering that gave respect to the spirit of the land. This intrinsic knowledge arose from the land itself and was mirrored in the way people behaved and believed. In an age when few of us actually work the land with our own hands, this knowledge is now retreating and we begin to see the products of the soil as commodities rather than as inhabitants of the natural order.
The land and its inhabitants speak to us of spirit and sacred order if we will listen to them. It is in the patient tending and listening that those who have worked the land for generations know when a plant or animal needs particular things, and when some profound wisdom is being conveyed. If we make the spaces for those moments of transmission, create opportunities for communication between ourselves and the land, we may begin to embody the sacred orderliness that maintains our whole ecology.”
Caitlin Matthews in The Celtic Spirit.
If we don’t listen to, and defend the land and the other creatures who depend on it will turn against us. It’s two years after the oil spill in the Gulf. They’re finding shrimp with no eyes, deformed fish and shellfish.
Dow and Monsanto create plants that are “herbicide and pesticide ready.” And the weeds and insects are text book examples of natural selection in action. Wildlife officials kill predators like coyotes and the coyotes respond by producing larger litters. And if they don’t the out of control prey animals eat themselves out of house and home. It takes years for the landscape to recover.
If we defend the land, the land will defend us. If we don’t. If we ignore the spirits of the land, water, air and the animals who depend on them; we all lose.